Dr. Conrad Murray, charged with involuntary manslaughter for the 2009 death of pop icon Michael Jackson, appeared in court Tuesday in a preliminary hearing. During the proceedings, prosecutors accused Murray of removing evidence from the scene once he discovered the singer’s unconscious body, before calling a staff member to assist him.
While Jackson died of an acute Propofol intoxication with Murray in the same house as the singer, the doctor maintains his innocence and has pled not guilty to the charges.
This is a drug that is typically used in surgery but was administered to Jackson as a sleep aid.
According to Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney David Walgren, there was a 20 minutes window between the time Murray found the superstar and when the paramedics were called by a security team member.
Walgren argued in a courtroom full of reporters and members of the Jackson family including Katherine, Jermaine, and LaToya Jackson that, “It is important that at this point, 911 has not been called or ordered to be called by Dr. Murray.”
“The evidence will show through the expert testimony, by all accounts, Michael Jackson was dead in the bedroom prior to the paramedics arriving,” Walgren goes on to argue, “The court will learn that in the opinion of these medical experts, there were a number of actions displayed by Dr. Murray that showed an extreme deviation from standard medical care.”
This hearing is instrumental because it will determine if the case against Murray should proceed to trial. Prosecutors have strategically planned out the upcoming weeks of the hearing and are projected to call as many as 35 witnesses to prove their case. However, the defense is equally prepared and it is predicted that they will propose a theory stating that Jackson administered the injection of Propofol himself, therefore ruling his death a suicide.
If Murray is found guilty he will receive up to four years in prison.